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Friday, May 30, 2008

Uncontacted people

I'm sure by now that you've seen the photos of the "uncontacted people" in the Amazon. I find if fascinating that the news is saying there are approximately 100 tribes of people who are "uncontacted." This means that in this day and age, these people truly live off the land and are unaware of any technology other than what they have conceived of themselves. One of the articles mentions that these photos were taken on a second flyover, which was about an hour after the initial spotting.




The men in the first photo are wielding their weapons at the airplane. I wonder if this is the first time they've ever seen an airplane. What is going on in their minds. Obviously, they are wary of something or someone who would do them harm. But are they just being cautious, or have they already decided this flying monstrosity is a threat?

And now that the rest of the world knows about these people, what do we do? It seems to me that they may be happy and doing well with their way of life. And it's very cool for the rest of us to catch a glimse and imagine what their day-to-day lifestyle must be like. But is there a responsibility on our part to introduce them to at least some modern technology? I'm not talking about iPhones and Eliptical machines, but things that they could actually incorporate into their lives like wind-up flashlights, textiles that would be appropriate for the weather, that kind of thing. It seems like maybe they should be made aware of what kind of life exists outside of their hidden corner of the world and then let them decide whether they would like to seek out something more.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Black Friday shopping help!

I know at this point in the year Black Friday seems forever away, but I just found this website that contains black friday ads.

The Black Friday website takes the time to compile all the major store ads in one place. They provide a bit of advanced information about the fabulous deals that get announced in the Thanksgiving newspaper inserts. They also provide links to each product directly so that you can just choose to purchase it online. With prices at the pump continuing to rise, this will be an awesome way to conserve our precious gas as well as save us the hassle of dealing with overcrowded parking lots, standing in enormous lines, and just generally dealing with the chaos of the biggest shopping day of the year.

You can also register an email address and get notifications when new Black Friday ads are posted. This would be a good thing to do right now, while you are visiting the site, so that you'll get a nice update right when you need it the most. I'm so forgetful, that by the time I would need the site, I will have forgotten it exists, so I'm definitely registering my email address right now.

They have a nice list of merchants, including some of my favs, JoAnn, Amazon, and Best Buy.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Postsecret Facebook page

I'm not sure how long Postsecret has had a Facebook page, but I'm glad I found out because now I'll get a few more delicious secrets each week.

Awesome Real Life Portal pics

Images of a portal spotted in Toronto. These were totally stolen from Sam Javanrouh. You can find more pics and specific location info on his photoblog by clicking on the photos below. Each photo takes you to a different page.




This is completely awesome and what I like best is that you can tell the person who did the installation actually used photos of the area that the portal should be looking out on to.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Acne Treatment in Chicago

I had bad acne growing up and my family doctor tried several things to help. I was on tetracycline for years before my mother finally took me to a proper dermatologist. What a difference that made! It took a bit of trying before we got the right combination of things, but by my junior year of high school, I was acne free.

If you live in the Chicago area and are plagued by acne, check out Lakeview Dermatology. A good dermatologist is hard to find, so definitely check them out. They'll take care of you. They specialize in laser acne treatment, hair removal treatment, Restylane treatment among other skin care treatments. Call them and they'll get rid of your Acne Chicago!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Yesterday's Delivery

Last night when we got home there was a package waiting for us. I had already forgotten about it, so I was very excited when I saw it lying there in front of the front door.



I opened it to find a lovely wrapped package. I wanted to tear into it, but I stopped and took pictures instead.

So pretty it was almost hard to unwrap. 



Detail shots of the card.



Out of the paper wrap, still in the plastic wrap.

Finally, my Povitica is free of all it's confines.

The first slice reveals the nutty goodness nestled within.

Some slices to share.  How pretty does that look?


YUM! Although it didn't quite look the same, it tasted just the same as I remembered. I restrained myself from eating the entire loaf, but I doubt any will be left after tonight!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Women's Clothing Sizes

I just had to cut off a bit of frayed fabric from the bottom of my jeans because they are just long enough where I walk on them a bit. I'm 5'9" and I usually buy they "tall" size in jeans because the regular more often than not are just a tad too short to look nice on me. However, since there is a 2-3 inch difference between regular length and tall length, tall is sometimes a bit longer than I like.

It's only been relatively recently that the tall sizes have been available in stores. When I was in high school and even college, I'd have to either special order my jeans or live with my pants being about an inch above where they should be. It drove me crazy that men's clothes can be ordered based on actual numbers -- the waist measurement and the inseam length. Men have never had any problems getting their exact size. I don't understand why women have put up with being forced into one length pant for so long.

Another big problem for me is sleeve length. I can hide this by buying short or 3/4 length tops, but coats and jackets can't be taken care of as easily. In the past I would just buy a men's coat and be happy, but now that I'm getting a bit more interested in looking feminine, I'd love to have a pretty jacket to wear. But every time I try something on, I get discouraged because my wrists stick out about 2 inches. A few years ago I ordered a super cute suede coat from Long Elegant Legs, but unfortunately the shoulders were too narrow for me, so I sent it back. I guess I'm just built too much like a football player to find cute women's clothes that look good on me.

Although it's easier to find more choices for the tall woman and losing 80 pounds made it easier to find size selections, I'm still quite frustrated with women's clothing sizes. And with my daughter at age 11 already taller than I am, I'm worried about what her future clothes buying experiences will be like.

Smarter Solutions

I've heard of Six Sigma before, but I really don't know a lot about it. It's one of those business concepts that people like me only really hear about when they work for a company that decides they need to adopt said business concept to get a leg up in sales/marketing/production/whatever.

When I worked at Boeing, I remember going through the training for ISO 9000 certification. We had training sessions and the like. I'm still not sure what exactly it means, but apparently some of the decision makers for the government contracts felt it was important.

So lately I've been hearing about Six Sigma and also the related Lean Six Sigma. Since I don't work for a company that directly does manufacturing anymore, I don't hear as much about these things as I used to. So, I decided to see what I could find out about it, just out of curiosity. There's a company called Smarter Solutions that offers Six Sigma Education, and their website has some good information, if you are interested in finding out more.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Povitica

I grew up in Kansas City, Kansas. My mother is Polish and her grandparents came here from Poland. There is a large Polish community in Kansas City, Kansas called Polish Hill. It happens to be very close to Strawberry Hill, which is a Croatian community. Some of the butcher shops where my family would get the "good Polish sausage" would also carry some Croatian items. One of these was Povitica. Saying that Povitica is a bread with a walnut filling just isn't quite doing it justice. Just look at it.



I ordered some for mother's day from The Kobe House Bakery, but I didn't think of it until it was already too late to make it in time. I ordered one for my mil, 2 for my mother (so she'll have enough to share with the rest of the family) and 1 for myself. I hope it's as good as I'm expecting.

I used to occasionally make Povitica using a recipe I found somewhere that used a cheat of hot roll mix instead of making the dough from scratch. It made the process relatively easy, but it just didn't taste quite as good as the real thing.

Here's a recipe I found that I'll try one of these days when I'm feeling ambitious.

Ingredients

For Sweet Dough

* 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 2 egg
* 1/4 cup soft butter
* 2 packages fleischmann active dry yeast
* 1/2 cup water
* 7 1/2-8 cups flour

For Filling

* 1 can evaporated milk
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 1 cup margarine
* 1 1/2 lbs pecan or walnut (ground fine)
* 4 egg
* 1 pinch salt
* 1 teaspoon cocoa
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

1. Sweet Dough preparation: Combine warm milk, sugar, salt, softened butter, and beaten eggs.
2. Dissolve yeast in warm water and add to other ingredients.
3. Add half of flour, mix well until smooth.
4. Add flour to handle easily.
5. Knead dough on lightly floured board.
6. Put dough in greased bowl, cover and place in warm, draft free place until doubled in size.
7. Punch down and let double again.
8. Divide dough in three parts.
9. Roll each part until very thin in rectangular shape.
10. Spread filling, roll and twist in circular shape like a snail or cinnamon roll.
11. Place in greased 8” or 9” cake pans.
12. Cover, put in warm place and let rise.
13. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes.
14. Makes three loaves.
15. Filling preparation: In heavy pan, over medium heat, combine sugar, milk and margarine and heat.
16. Add nuts, then beaten eggs and mix well.
17. Boil one minutes stirring constantly.
18. Remove from heat, add pinch of salt, cocoa and cinnamon and mix well.
19. Let cool till just warm enough to spread.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Swimsuit Bootcamp Workout -- Day 7

9 minute workout.

You'll need an optional mat.



Friday, May 9, 2008

I Found Your Camera

If you haven't checked it out yet, go take a look at I Found Your Camera.  People who have found camera, memory sticks or just random photos post them up in the hopes of getting them back to their rightful owners.  It's an awesome idea and several have already been reunited with their owners.  I haven't lost any camera as far as I can remember, but I keep thinking maybe I'll see myself or someone I know up there. 

Swimsuit Bootcamp Workout -- Day 6

7 minute workout.

You'll need dumbbells, a chair and an optional mat.



Thursday, May 8, 2008

Swimsuit Bootcamp Workout -- Day 5

10 minute video. You'll need an optional mat to do this video.



Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Swimsuit Bootcamp Workout - Day 4

7 minute video that needs only a mat and you can optionally use dumbbells.



Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Swimsuit Bootcamp Workout - Day 3

7 minute video
You'll need a chair, mat and optionally a set of dumbbells.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Swimsuit Bootcamp Workout - Day 2

10 minute video.
You'll need a chair and optionally a set of dumbbells.



15 minute desk workout



Saturday, May 3, 2008

Swimsuit Bootcamp starts tomorrow!

Sparkpeople.com is running a Swimsuit Bootcamp for the next 4 weeks and you can win a $1000 grand prize just for participating for free. Go to www.SparkPeople.com/Bootcamp if you are interested.

Here's the Day 1 workout video. It's just an easy 10 minute workout that doesn't need any equipment. It does include some jumping jacks, so if you are a well gifted woman, you may want a sports bra.



Yummy sounding salad

Copied from the Pioneer Organics website.

Orange, Black Olive and Cilantro Salad


Servings: 4
Time: 15 minutes
1 tablespoon Annie’s Natural Dijon mustard
1 orange, juiced
1 clove garlic, peeled, smashed and minced
¼ cup Napa Valley Naturals extra virgin olive oil
1 head butter lettuce
3 oranges, peeled and segmented
½ cup black olives, Kalamata preferred, pitted and halved
½ small red onions, peeled, thinly sliced
½ bunch cilantro, stems removed

Whisk together mustard, orange juice and garlic. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Arrange butter lettuce on four plates. Toss together orange segments, black olives, red onions and cilantro. Arrange on lettuce. Drizzle dressing on top.

Friday, May 2, 2008

A couple more recipes to try

More recipes copied from the Pioneer Organics website.

Snap Pea and Potato Salad with Mint and Lemon


Servings: 2-4
Time: 25 minutes
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 medium lemon, zested
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
2 sprigs of mint, the leaves chopped
2 cups potatoes, cooked, chilled and thinly sliced
1 cup sugar snap peas, de-stemmed, sliced in half
2 cups fresh lettuce leaves torn into bite sized pieces
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook your potatoes with the skins on in salted water until fork-tender. Drain and cool. Once cool enough to touch, slice them.

Whisk the mustard, vinegar, lemon zest and juice, oil and garlic in a small bowl or jar. In a serving bowl, place the cooked and sliced potatoes, snap peas and lettuce. Drizzle the dressing and gently toss everything. Garnish with mint leaves. You may also want to garnish with cracked fresh pepper.

Snap Peas with Ginger, Lemon Zest and Cherry Tomatoes


This recipe makes a tasty and colorful side dish to accompany salmon or halibut. It's also good tossed with pasta shells.
Servings: 4-6
Time: 20 minutes
1 pound organic snap peas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon organic lemon zest
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup organic cherry tomatoes
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Fill a large bowl with cold water and 12 ice cubes.

Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Add the sugar peas to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain the peas and place them in the ice water to cool rapidly.

Heat the oil in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add ginger and zest, and cook gently about 2 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes, lemon juice and peas. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Variations
You can substitute garlic for the ginger if desired.
If you don't have a lemon, use orange zest and juice for a slightly different twist.